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Google Offers Help to Webmasters Whose Sites Were Hacked

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Google has launched a page and a set of tutorials aimed for webmasters whose site was hacked.

Specifically, Google explains webmasters how to deal with Google’s search warning that a site is dangerous, which usually appears if a hacker has infected the site with harmful code.

“Every day, cybercriminals compromise thousands of websites. Hacks are often invisible to users, yet remain harmful to anyone viewing the page — including the site owner,” claims Google on the site titled “Webmasters help for hacked sites.

Google starts with a video tutorial (above) which explains the basics of how and why sites get hacked, and then goes into more advanced territory with info on how to quarantine a site, identify its vulnerabilities and clean it up from harmful code.

How do you like Google’s latest initiative? Do you think the material is too advanced or perhaps too simple for the average webmaster? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image credit: Google MORE

New Research Could Mean Cellphones That Can See Through Walls

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Comic book hero superpowers may be one step closer to reality after the latest technological feats made by researchers at UT Dallas. They have designed an imager chip that could turn mobile phones into devices that can see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other objects.

The team’s research linked two scientific advances. One involves tapping into an unused range in the electromagnetic spectrum. The other is a new microchip technology.

The electromagnetic spectrum characterizes wavelengths of energy. For example, radio waves for AM and FM signals, or microwaves used for cell phones or the infrared wavelength that makes night vision devices possible.

But the terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum, one of the wavelength ranges that falls between microwave and infrared, has not been accessible for most consumer devices.

“We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life-saving medical applications,” said Dr. Kenneth O, professor of electrical engineering at UT Dallas and director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence(TxACE). “The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all.”

Tapping the Terahertz Gap

Shown is the electromagnet spectrum, from radio waves used for FM and AM signals, to infrared waves used for remote controls, to gamma rays that kill cancer cells. A team at UT Dallas is focusing on the “terahertz band,” which has not been accessible for most consumer devices.MORE

Fake Instagram app infects Android devices with malware

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InstagramTempted to try out the much talked about Instagram app? Well, be careful where you get it from – as malware authors are distributing malware disguised as the popular app.

It’s a rain cloud on a summer’s day for the Instagram photo-sharing smartphone app, which is otherwise having a glorious time right now.

First of all, Instagram released a first version for Android and managed to get five million downloads in less than a week.

Then the 13-employee firm managed to sell itself to Facebook for a cool $1 billion, making some of us wonder about privacy, and others think – “to heck with that, do I have a program that’s never earnt any money that I might be able to flog to Mark Zuckerberg?”.

Naturally, the Facebook acquisition news raised Instagram to even higher levels of public awareness and that’s where the bad guys stepped in.

Cybercriminals have created fake versions of the Instagram Android app, designed to earn money from unsuspecting users.MORE

BlackBerry outage made roads safer, police claim

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According to media reports, police in the United Arab Emirates have given a surprising explanation for a dramatic fall in traffic accidents last week: drivers’ BlackBerrys weren’t working.

It’s claimed that last week’s worldwide BlackBerry outage, which frustrated business people around the world who were unable to communicate with their colleagues, had one positive result – less texting and reading of emails by people who should have been concentrating on driving instead.

Road traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi are said to have dropped by 40%, and there was a 20% reduction in Dubai in the past week.

According to The National newspaper, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police, and Brig Gen Hussein Al Harethi, the director of the Abu Dhabi Police traffic department, both linked the drop to the service disruption experienced by BlackBerry users.

“Absolutely nothing has happened in the past week in terms of killings on the road and we’re really glad about that,” Brig Gen Al Harethi told the newspaper. “People are slowly starting to realise the dangers of using their phone while driving. The roads became much safer when BlackBerry stopped working.”

There may be another explanation for the reduction in mobile-phone related traffic accidents in the UAE, however.

Theyab AwanaAt the end of last month, popular UAE footballer Theyab Awana was killed in a high speed crash near Abu Dhabi, and it was claimed that he was sending a message on his BlackBerry when he hit a lorry.

The football star’s father, Awana Ahmad Al Mosabi, made an emotional plea to people not to use smartphones while driving, and a Facebook campaign against the use of BlackBerry Messenger while driving has grown in popularity.

Of course, texting messages or reading emails while you are in charge of a motor vehicle is insane. You aren’t just putting yourself at risk, you’re putting other innocent travellers in peril as well.

If you need any convincing, here’s a shocking video that was made to highlight the danger. Please note: the video is graphic and may be upsetting to some people.MORE

Social networks now used to abuse, monitor and control women

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Social networks now used to abuse, monitor and control women

Various forms of technology are being used by abusive partners to monitor and control women, particularly younger women, such as their mobile phone calls and texts being monitored and social media and technology being used to stalk and control them.

Women’s Aid today reported it received 3,575 disclosures of abuse via the National Freephone Helpline and there have been 48,000 visits to its website – a 52pc increase.

“Leaving a relationship does not always end abuse,” Women’s Aid director Margaret Martin explained.

“Almost a fifth of women continued to be abused, stalked and harassed by former partners. These women disclosed how they are bombarded with texts and calls often telling them, in explicit detail, how they will be attacked or even killed. Some women disclosed that their current or ex-boyfriends were stalking them on social networking sites.”

The Women’s Aid Helpline responded to 10,055 calls in 2010. There were 430 one-to-one support visits and 164 court accompaniments. There were 8,351 incidents of emotional abuse disclosed and 3,031 incidents of physical abuse.

The figures for 2010 indicate that 57pc of calls were by first-time users of the service.

Technology used as a form of emotional abuse

Forms of emotional abuse included women being stalked and constantly monitored both while in the relationship and after they leave; women being harassed continuously by phone, text messages and through social networks; women’s access to internet either curtailed or monitored; women threatened with weapons, threats by the abuser to kill the woman, the children or other family members; women threatened that their children will be abducted and taken overseas and women’s and children’s pets being intentionally harmed in front of them.

“There is a common misconception that violence and abuse only occurs in older and more established relationships, where women are married or living with, and/or have children with their abusive partner,” said Martin.

“Our experience and national and international research shows that young women are also at risk of violence and abuse from their boyfriends.

“In a national survey on domestic violence, almost 60pc of those who had experienced severe abuse in intimate relationships first experienced it when they were under the age of 25. More chilling data from resolved homicide cases show that of the 39 women aged between 18 and 25 years who were killed since 1996, 53pc were murdered by a boyfriend or former boyfriend.”

The figures reflect a recent statement from Keir Starmer, the DPP in the UK which said young women aged between 16 and 19 in the UK are at the highest risk of sexual assault, stalking and domestic abuse, creating a “risk of a whole new generation of domestic violence.”

Martin said one in five Irish women who have ever been in a relationship experience physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse.

“In 2010, we responded to over 10,000 calls on our helpline. We heard from thousands of women living with abuse and fear. Fear of being choked or strangled, fear of the next beating or cutting remark that is designed to erode their confidence and put them down. Women being gagged to silence their screams. Women whose abusive partners repeatedly threaten to kill them, their children and themselves.

“Jeering the women and telling them not to bother telling anyone – that no one will believe them. All too often, these women feel completely isolated and alone, unaware that there is help available. We know that about one-third of women never tell anyone about the abuse they suffer. Instead, these women try to survive and protect themselves and their children on their own.”

John Kennedy